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Aluminum vs Steel Fenders

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by spike6901, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. spike6901

    spike6901

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    I have been reading up on body pieces as the ole FJ40 needs some serious TLC in that department. I have found steel, aluminum and fiberglass replacement fenders both in stock size or about 3" wider than stock.

    I like the idea of fiberglass, but don't like the thought when I bang it against a rock or a tree and it looks like the front end of a Vette after a fender bender.

    So, how about aluminum? I have read opinions that state that there is a corrosion factor due to aluminum/steel contact and others that say that this poses no significant problem. On the other hand, Al will not rust and that is a very good thing.

    What are your opinions on which way to go? How much difference is there in strength and weight? Do you think I should run the wider fenders because 35x12.5 stick out a few inches past the stock ones?
     
  2. brian

    brian SILVER Star

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    width of the fenders is dependent on your local laws. do they state that to legally pass inspection the tire needs to be under the fender?
     
  3. spike6901

    spike6901

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    Heck no, I'm in Texas!!

    I just thought they would work better if they actually covered the whole tire.
     
  4. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    I'd stick with some used steel ones at all cost. When it comes to the fenders I have to have exact factory look, I've seen some freaky looking ones and they just fawk up an otherwise good looking cruiser. And ya the steel will take alot more abuse than fiberglass in my opinion.
     
  5. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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    Factory steel is nice. I put them on my renovated BJ42.

    Aluminum can not get the compound curve at the front, and I do not like the look: http://www.aqualu.com/Photos/Temp Accessories Pics/fender.gif I do however like the rest of their product.

    For fiberglass I would consider nothing other then Gozzard. Any comment I have ever heard, any report of hitting, etc have all been very good. I believe he has flipped his truck a few times, and it is none the worse...Supposed to be "very" tough: http://www.gozzardcomposites.com/images/GC104.jpg

    hth's.

    gb
     
  6. dgangle

    dgangle total rice SILVER Star

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    Let me add something on fiberglass fenders some may not be aware. I ran Malotte glass fenders, hood and bib on a 75 40 back in the day and had terrible cracking where rocks thrown from the tires would make a 1-2" dia spiderweb crack wherever they hit. In the course of a couple years they looked like s***. This may or may not be important to you so if not disregard.
     
  7. spike6901

    spike6901

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    They look like crap now (rusted, bent, etc). If I am going to pay hard earned money for new ones, I sure as heck don't want them looking like poo from small things such as tossed rocks. I can fix dents in steel but not cracks in glass.

    Thanks for the input. I think I am going to go with steel on this one. They are cheaper than Al and I feel that they will be more durable. Modern steel and coatings have got to be a million times better than what they used 25 years ago on my rig.
     
  8. Diescipel

    Diescipel

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    A little late but maybe it will help others...

    Here are some pics to affirm--I think you made the right decision to go with steel. I think I have first generation Aqualu fenders. The biggest problem I have with them is not the lack of the compound curve, but the fact that they throw off all the body fitment in front of the truck, leaving gaps between panels and making the bib stick out from under the hood. Though low on my priority list, I want to replace these with the real thing when I eventually finish the resto and repaint the whole truck. Here you go (tires are 33x9.5):
    Summer 2005 004.jpg Summer 2005 009.jpg Summer 2005 005.jpg
     
  9. Diescipel

    Diescipel

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    Some more... Notice the galling from the stainless steel screw holding the turn signal housing down, and notice the fitment issues.
    Summer 2005 007.jpg Summer 2005 008.jpg Summer 2005.jpg
     
  10. dgangle

    dgangle total rice SILVER Star

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    gosh those look like s***. the Malotte's at least looked like OE sorta...
     
  11. Diescipel

    Diescipel

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    Forgot: I'm planning on rhino-lining (or similar) the insides of the wheel wells on any new steel fenders...
     
  12. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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    I really want to get a Gozzard setup at some point, so I can speak from experience. That said, experience I have heard from others says the Gozzard is tough. He has taken his yacht experience and transfered that to his LC line. Why not give him a shout, see if you can work a deal to get a test set and run the crap out of them before saying they will not work...

    gb
     
  13. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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  14. Mark W

    Mark W

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    While the Mallotte tubs are... well, let's just say they leave a bit to be diesired... Their front fenders are (in my experience) pretty decent. I've run them on one rig and a buddy ran them too. We were concerned about how they would hold up, both to flying gravel on the road and to trail abuse. Never had a problem with them suffering from the gravel. We get a LOT of it. Even at subzero temps they never suffered a crack. Rolled a rig once with these fenders. An inpact that would have mangled and ruined a steel fender (or AL) left a small crack that was easily repaired (and even if ignored it was not that big a deal) the fiberglass flexed nicely in that situation, prevent worse damage. The lines of the fender are perfect and the fit was easy and correct.

    I have a Mallote tub sitting at the shop that will probably never be installed. But I like their fenders.


    Mark...
     
  15. ken_79-fj40

    ken_79-fj40

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    I have the fenders CCOT sells. They look decent, fit is OK, but boy are they thin. I probably won't replace them, but the next time I repaint my truck I will definately get them linexed inside. I've got a few blisters in the paint from rocks getting kicked up from the tires and denting them from the inside out. Nothing major, but still annoying. Of course I got them for like $90 each a while back.
     
  16. buckroseau

    buckroseau May I have another!!!

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    I've got Gozzard fiberglass fenders (along with a Gozzard tub and rear door). 11k miles since my rebuild, absolutely no cracking or spiderwebbing, and I live on a gravel road. Gozzard laminates this padding stuff into all his product, including the fenders. I remember noticing it as soon as I picked up my tub and other parts. The next time I spoke with Mike I asked him what it was. It was a pad he laminates in all of his Yachts that does not allow star cracking or spiderweb cracks. I told him I was going to undercoat my fiberglass product just to make sure, he said it wasn't needed to undercoat, they would not crack.

    And, yes....Mike has rolled his 40 2x's with his fiberglass tub. Roll cage was only attached to the tub, not to the frame. Still driving it :)

    I also have a set of CCOT fenders I got for another project I'm working on. The project I'm working on needs to me a very nice fit, unfortunetly CCOT's fenders do not provide that in my opinion.

    If anyone needs a set of installed, but never used CCOT fenders for a rig PM me.

    Cruiser below is mine, 77 FJ40. Gozzard tub, rear ambulance doors and front fenders. All other components are OEM.

    Matt
    mudmj1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2005
  17. brian

    brian SILVER Star

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    could we get a close up of the fenders?

    i'm not a fan of 'glass, however "your's" do look good, MUCH better than the alum. from your pic it's pretty hard to tell they are not steel.
     
  18. buckroseau

    buckroseau May I have another!!!

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    Close up while building with Gozzard fenders

    Matt
    goz1.jpg goz2.jpg goz3.jpg
     
  19. buckroseau

    buckroseau May I have another!!!

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    more Gozzard fender action

    oops, need pics?
     
  20. buckroseau

    buckroseau May I have another!!!

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    more Gozzard fender action(s)
    goz4.jpg goz5.jpg goz6.jpg